Never Give an Inch in Defense of America

This week I released my new book, Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love. It is a collection of stories from my time as CIA Director and Secretary of State, stories that show the good work we were able to achieve on behalf of the American people. The idea for Never Give an Inch came to me when I realized how the press had completely missed the true story of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy—by putting America first and refusing to go along with the global elites, we made America stronger and safer. We cared more about what working Americans thought than the Davos elite. When our leaders are unyielding both in defense and in pursuit of American principles, America and the whole world prosper.

I ended my tenure as Secretary of State having been the longest-serving member of the Trump Administration’s national security team.  We spent four years fighting off America’s enemies, as well as fighting off the entrenched Beltway bureaucracy and a hostile national media that distorted everything we did. In doing so, we broke glass, upended apple carts, and wholly reoriented America’s core focus on issues ranging from immigration and trade policy to confronting the Chinese Communist Party and deterring adversaries like Russia and Iran. Where American leaders had spent decades prioritizing ritzy international summits and “engagement” with our adversaries, we called on our partners to deliver on their avowed principles and demanded reciprocity from nations like China. Never Give an Inch tells the story of how we did it.

It also tells the story of how we delivered unmatched support for Israel while historically expanding peace in the land of Abraham. This was no accident or coincidence. To enemies and allies alike, the Trump Administration made clear exactly who we were and what we stood for.  That clarity gave nations like the Gulf States the security assurance they needed to make peace with Israel without fear of Iran’s reprisal. Our friendship with Israel gave the Jewish nation-state the support it needed to truly pursue a peace that didn’t leave it weaker or more vulnerable than before. And when Iran threatened America and its allies, we reinforced our lines of deterrence by taking down its terrorist general, Qassem Soleimani. I tell this story in Never Give an Inch because it is important for the American people to read how it is possible to achieve peace even in circumstances where it seems impossible, and how America, far from “leading from behind,” must be out in front if such efforts are to succeed.

I also wrote this book to make clear the importance of my faith in public service. For too long, Americans have been made to believe that faith must be scrubbed from the public square and that an individual’s belief in God must never influence their decision-making at the government level – this couldn’t be more wrong. As a Christian, my faith informs everything that I do.  It cannot be kept separate from everyday decisions, let alone the weighty decisions of the CIA Director or Secretary of State. My faith was invaluable to my decision-making throughout my service, and it informed my view that championing religious freedom is of the utmost importance to America’s foreign policy.

Finally, I wrote this book to show how important it is for America to remain true to its Founding principles. No American should ever underestimate or take for granted what our Founders achieved. Our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our Bill of Rights form the foundation of a country that has managed to secure the rights of the individual better than any in human history.  The United States, a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” is our great inheritance, one which we must jealously guard and never demean. As we face down adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party, this understanding of the goodness of America will be essential. We can handle foreign adversaries—but if our children are taught to hate America and become obsessed with Marxist, race-driven ideologies like Critical Race Theory, we’ll have lost the fight long before it arrives on our doorstep.

As America’s chief diplomat – and perhaps less so as CIA Director – compromise was, not surprisingly, an essential part of the job. Working with partners or adversaries to achieve good outcomes for our respective peoples naturally demanded a give-and-take at times – but that isn’t what my book is about.  This book is about never yielding on the fundamentals: the things that truly matter and make America what it is. Protecting Americans, putting their interests first, safeguarding religious freedom, and understanding the importance of America’s Founding principles – on these issues and more, we must never give in an inch.